2009 Buying A Safer Car Brochure Can Help Consumers Compare Safety Features of Vehicles for Their Families

(LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4, 2009) –   How well does a vehicle protect people during a crash?  What features does a particular vehicle have to help you avoid a crash?  What other types of safety features does this vehicle have?
Consumers looking for this type of information can compare models with AAA’s Buying a Safer Car 2009 brochure containing comprehensive consumer information on crash tests, rollover ratings and safety features.  
Now available at the Automobile Club of Southern California’s local offices and online, the brochure was produced jointly by AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Buying a Safer Car provides valuable safety information for all new cars, hybrids, and other vehicles.  It also includes crash-test ratings for those vehicles. 
“The brochure enables motorists to compare all new vehicle features to ensure getting the best value while seeking a vehicle that maximizes fuel economy and also has safety features that motorists desire,” said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center. 
According to Mazor, of the nearly 2 million injury-causing crashes each year, the majority are either frontal or side crashes.   The brochure separates vehicles into categories by type and size and rates them by (1 to 5 stars) how much they exceed the federal government’s minimum standards. 
The brochure offers tips to help reduce the risk of injury from any frontal air bag by observing the following:
  • Buckle up.
  • Keep 10 inches or more between your chest and the air bag cover.
  • Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag, even a reduced-power or advanced air bag, unless the air bag on-off switch is in the OFF position.
  • Place children ages 13 and under in the back seat and make sure they are properly restrained, either in seat belts or child safety seats that are appropriate for their size, weight and age. 
For more information, log onto www.AAA.com/publicaffairs or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. 

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Elaine Beno
(714) 885-2324